[Coral-List] effect of sunscreen on corals

Mike Jankulak - NOAA Affiliate mike.jankulak at noaa.gov
Fri Feb 8 15:01:53 UTC 2019

Note to coral-listers: for three days I've been working with Mike Risk to
try to figure out why certain of his posts are forwarding as blank
messages. I believe it's something to do with how his email software is
formatting some text that he is cutting and pasting from outside his
message. The resulting message is malformed and html-only, and the list
software incorrectly strips the html instead of reformatting it as plain

At this point, rather than continuing to debug the problem here on the live
list, I am forwarding his unposted messages in two parts. The first was
submitted on Tuesday and the second on Thursday. Please take care to
address any followups to the appropriate Mike.

An editor's note about this first message -- it quotes an unnamed email
correspondent but Mike has assured me that he has emailed this person to
secure their permission to share their words on the list. Also I am
redacting a mild profanity in deference to the list's policy on these

Here ends the Mike J+ material, and begins the Mike R material.


From: "Risk, Michael" <riskmj at mcmaster.ca>
To: Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>
Cc: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2019 00:10:46 +0000
Subject: RE: [Coral-List] effect of sunscreen on corals


You are correct, that post is far too long-especially as you could have
read the freakin paper in the length of time it took you to compose it. I
had expected better from you.

You have dug into Downs' website and quote-mined from an article which was
clearly discussing local stresses. We scientists don't go by blog posts, we
go by the literature. To save you the trouble, here is a quote: "BP-3
contamination from beaches can travel over 0.6 km in distance from the
pollution source. The threat of BP-3 to corals and coral reefs from
swimmers and point and non-point sources of waste-water could thus be far
more extensive than just a few meters surrounding the swimming area." Sound
reasonable? And, if I can read that paper and understand it, so can you.

This is a large field, with by now a voluminous literature. Those to whom I
have talked have always said, this is a local problem, one that may be
larger than we had thought-and it's easy to fix. What is wrong with that??
What is wrong with those who would challenge that?

I am also disappointed that you managed to slide in the suggestion that
Craig's results were coloured by his finances. Doug, there are hundreds of
people working on this! If you are going to chuck around driveby's you will
be very busy. Yes, Craig supports his foundation on donations and
contracts. Please don't go after him for this.

My original post has only been up for a few hours. Here is one off-line
response I have received, from a well-known reef scientist with 8,000
citations: "This article is really upsetting. Glad you responded. I'm a tad
shocked that Terry wrote this. Seems that ignoring 'precautionary
principles' is what often gets us in these messes in the first place and
then its too d--n late."

What's wrong with saying, we can fix this and move on?


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